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Monday, July 27, 2009
What is a SVRS? and why do I need it?
Install an SVRS in your pool or spa for safety.
(from SafeKids Water Safety)
When a swimmer becomes stuck to a drain or suction outlet in a swimming
pool, spa, wading pool, or hot tub, the force of the circulation system can be
This suction force will not allow a person to free themselves, no matter how
strong a swimmer they may be. It is extremely difficult for onlookers to break
this suction by lifting the person off the drain — to do so, you would have to
be able to lift more than 500 pounds. Even several people working together
may not be able to accomplish this. This “suction entrapment” will hold the
bather in its grip until the vacuum is broken. A person held underwater in this
manner can suffer severe body or limb injury, or even death.
What is an SVRS?
A Safety Vacuum Release System — or SVRS for short — is an automatic suction
force release system. When a drain becomes blocked, the SVRS provides a rapid
vacuum release. This quickly frees anyone whose body or limb is trapped on the
An SVRS works whether or not there is a cover on the drain, and does not interfere
with the pump function. Once installed, an SVRS requires little or no maintenance.
How does a mechanical SVRS prevent entrapment?
A spring loaded piston located in the SVRS unit forms a seal to prevent air entering
the suction system during normal operation. Should a sudden rise in vacuum occur
due to an entrapment event, the piston is forced open and the air seal is broken.
Under this condition, outside air is allowed to enter the suction side of the pump
causing the pump to lose prime, thereby releasing the vacuum.
How is an SVRS installed?
A mechanical SVRS unit is easily installed, adjusted and tested with standard tools
and supplies. The SVRS unit is mounted vertically, above or off a tee installed in the
main drain suction line close to the circulation pump. Since the SVRS is an air
passageway only, the unit does not convey water, and therefore can be installed on
small or large pipe sizes. Most installations can be completed in less than 30 minutes.
An electrical SVRS unit may also be used and is installed by a licensed electrician.
I have multiple drains in my pool — do I still need an SVRS?
Having multiple drains is no assurance that someone will not become entrapped
by the suction force on one of the drains. One or more of the drain lines can become
clogged or completely obstructed by leaves, debris, towels, toys, etc. However,
the pool/spa system will appear to be functioning normally, as there is still one
An SVRS provides a quick release of a person’s body or limb trapped on a drain.
What features should I look for in an SVRS?
• Easy to install (within 30 minutes). It is recommended to have a pool professional
install the SVRS.
• Self-monitoring, and low maintenance.
• Covered by a warranty of more than one year.
• Won’t damage your pump when activated.
• Meets all requirements of the International Code Council — both the
International Building Code (IBC) and the International Residential Code (IRC).
• Meets or exceeds all the ANSI/ASME performance standards for safety vacuum
• Constructed of non-corroding parts to ensure long life and superior performance.
Vac-AlertTM Model VA-2000 SVRS, with cutaway
showing the interior. Pictures can be found here http://www.usa.safekids.org/water/documents/SVRS.pdf
How can I learn more?
Contact Safe Kids Worldwide at
202-662-0600, or http://www.safekids.org/.